Nigerian varsities have been told to wake up from their slumber and challenge the rising cases of plagiarism among those enrolled for doctorates in their institutions, if they are to meet the qualified manpower needed of tertiary institutions in the country.
The call was made by the leader of the Course 37, Study Group 5, of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Jos, Professor Celestine Bassey, who came on courtesy visit to the National Universities Commission, NUC, in Abuja yesterday.
Prof Bassey, a former lecturer and council member of the University of Calabar, now Director of Studies at NIPSS, gave a number of instances of doctorate students who resorted to criminal act of plagiarism in their desperation to acquire doctorate degrees.
“During my time in the university, these sorry cases of plagiarism occurred a number of times with some of those involved caught and dismissed. The situation still remains the same today. We have reports of such. It is yet to abet, but it baffled me so much the way Nigerian education system had been brought to such ridiculous and parlous state.
“The 2007 Act that granted autonomy to universities handed the university system to politicians and most of these Vice Chancellors are their products. These seriously affected activities in universities, including the kind of people admitted to run their programmes.
“It is expected that the NUC takes its regulatory role as far as monitoring the caliber of people appointed as VCs and Council members. You can imagine what it looks like having 90 fake corps members that were issued graduation certificate by the senate of a school, and if such were not discovered, they will find their way into youth service with fake certificates,” he said.
He said his team had come to find out what the response of the Commission to these sordid development was and what it planned to do check the rot in the system.
Earlier in his welcome remark, the Executive Secretary, NUC, Professor Julius Okojie, intimated the visiting NIPSS delegates on the mandate of the Commission, which, according to him, included, ensuring quality assurance in Nigerian universities.
Okojie said the commission regularly subjects universities to resource verification of each of the courses they offer or intend to offer and does not hesitate in suspending any course that comes short of the required standard.

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